Good news folks! Bank switching offers are back on and it is super quick and easy to do. I’ve opted to switch from Nationwide to Lloyds Bank this week and it took me less than 10 minutes. Now all I have to do is wait for the switch to complete and I’ll have an extra £100 in my bank account. Oh, and I opted for a free annual magazine subscription too!
Why aren’t more people switching banks?
I’m not afraid to say it, I am a serial bank switcher. I’ve probably changed banks at least once a year for the last five years and every time I’ve received at least £100 for doing so. Plus, historically I’ve been able to get better interest rates on savings accounts in the first year after moving (although at the moment interest rates are pretty terrible across the board).
I am extremely surprised by the number of people I speak to who don’t take advantage of what is essentially free money! A friend told me this week that they couldn’t be bothered to switch banks because they would have to arrange to move their direct debits across which would be a lot of effort. However, this isn’t the case as the banks do all this for you! Which brings me onto my next point…
Bank switching is super easy
Switching banks could not be simpler. You fill out a form for a new account with your chosen bank online then they’ll ask you if you want to switch. Then you give them the details for your current bank, and they handle everything from there. They will move all your money over, along with your direct debits. Even if someone tries to pay you via your old account, that money will be forwarded to your new one.
In all my years of bank switching, I’ve not actually passed on new account details to my company’s accounts department so all of that must happen automatically too as thankfully I’m still getting paid every month.
Which bank should you switch to?
If you haven’t switched banks before you have plenty of choice on who to move too and may be able to get more money in the process. I always look for the latest information on MoneySavingExpert as they detail all of the benefits on offer and the conditions of potential accounts.
Have a browse and see what’s best for you. I tend to prioritise where I can get the most money and any extras are a bonus. If you’ve switched banks before, you’ll just need to double-check if you are eligible for another switching bonus. For example, you may not be able to get one if you want to switch banks that belong to the same group, or if you’ve already had a bonus from them in the last couple of years.
When shouldn’t you switch?
If you’re getting some great benefits from your current bank that you just don’t want to give up, then that’s fair enough. But consider whether the value of those benefits is more or less than a switching bonus in the long run. For example, if you’re getting insurance through your bank it’s still worth checking price comparison sites to see if you would be better off buying it there. With my joint account, I do get some decent cashback on my bills, so I am happy sticking with my current bank there.
Review your banking set-up regularly
One of the best personal finance tips I can offer is to review your banking set-up and options regularly. You may be able to get a switching bonus, better interest rates and better benefits elsewhere. Keep in mind that what was a great option a year ago, may not be the best option on the market now.
You work hard to earn what you have, so ensure you’re also putting effort into managing your money. You should aim to make your money go further and make banks work for your custom.
About the Author
Jenny Tait is the Founder and Creator of The Life Stuff. She is a Director at Bridgewater Recruitment Group and has contributed advice articles to sites including CV-Library, CareerExperts and the Universities of Nottingham, Surrey and Kent.